It’s a nightmare scenario: the banks start failing and people rush to withdraw their deposits and savings. So how much currency is available to cover such withdrawals?
It turns out that for every dollar that you have in the bank (in the USA) there is actually whopping $0.00061 available to cover each dollar in a withdrawal request!
In other words, banks could only pay out 6 cents for every $100 dollars of deposits that people have at the bank. It’s not a problem when a few people a day want to clear out their accounts. But when every customer is there, demanding the bank gives them their money back…it’s a scenario the banks couldn’t handle.
In practice what would likely happen is that capital controls would be put in force. Similar measures were imposed in Greece during its financial crisis and depositors could withdraw no more than €60 (about $68 per day) each per day.
The other likelihood is that the banks would shut their doors, possibly permanently, taking everyone’s savings with them.
In the EU, bank depositors are guaranteed protection for up to €100,000 in accounts with any one bank. So the prudent thing to do over there if you have more than 100k is to open savings accounts at different banks (not at different branches).
But even with that protection in place, people still wouldn’t be able to get access to all their savings if a bank run happened. They’d (hopefully) eventually get their money, but after how long?
We live in an economic system that is made complicated by design. Basically, it’s set up to be so complex that most people don’t even try to understand it.
Owning gold and silver puts control of your money in your own hands. And if the nightmare scenario should ever happen, you’ll still have a monetary resource to call on when times get tough.
Right now, the easiest and cheapest way to buy gold is with BitGold (I have a review of it here if you’re not familiar with it). They store your gold in an allocated vault. If you prefer the idea of having gold in your own possession, then buying from SD Bullion is the next cheapest and easiest option.